After ripping a pretty harsh one into the Padres previous foray of craft beer festival events (Terriblefest), I feel I owe it to fans and the team to report my findings from the other fest of the season: Oktober. Fest.
For the un-initiated, Oktoberfest was the second pre-game local beer tasting event hosted by the Padres this year. I’ll give Tom Garfinkel first crack at telling the story:
“We had an overwhelming turnout at Beerfest and we want to build on that success, as well as improve the operational flow of the event,” said Padres President and COO Tom Garfinkel. “We listened to fan feedback and we are making some changes for Oktoberfest, in order to speed up the service and ensure folks have a great experience.”
My version of Beerfest goes a little different style:
“I arrived an hour before it was supposed to end expecting to hang out with friends and sip on a little something something. Instead, there was no beer to be had anywhere in the stadium [very slight exaggeration], I was met with lots of frowny faces, and Tommy G apologizing to the crowd.”
However you want to phrase it, Oktoberfest was more than building on the “success” of Beerfest, it was an attempt to make things right. The Padres were nice enough to allow me to buy another ticket to that event, so I paid my fare and was greeted with a well organized, great tasting, not knowing how loud I’m talking evening at the ballyards.
The beer dispensaries were spread evenly all across the park at the park lawn, while $5 cups of beer were prepaid at separate booths. Apparently people in San Diego really do love their beer, though everyone had unfettered access to their favorite, or new favorite brewery.
The beerlight of the event was a visit to the Lost Abbey booth. I’m by no means a beer snob so I won’t bother trying to describe the taste, but I will describe the 9% ABV quoted to me and what can only be explained as an almost syrupy texture. That cup of ale forever changed my life.
Afterward, some baseball was played, the Padres won a great game, Star Wars backpacks were worn, and the Padres missed the playoffs. I think that covers everything. Oh yeah, there my crying about missing the playoffs.